Re: 2 Cor.12:7,8: The Thorn

From: Theodore H Mann (
Date: Mon Aug 16 1999 - 17:41:47 EDT

Although I wasn't too clear in my first post, my interest here is whether
or not the grammar allows for the possibility that Paul's "thorn in the
flesh" refers to a person, or being, perhaps as follows:

(v7) And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this
reason, lest I should be too exalted, there was given to me a thorn in
the flesh, a messenger (AGGELOS: [?] messenger, angel,
being, person [?] ) of Satan, that he (the thorn?) might beat (buffet)
me, lest I should be too exalted. (v8) Concerning this
(one) I entreated the Lord three times that he might depart from me.

KOLAFIZNi and APOSTHi are both third-person-singular, and can, I assume,
be translated "he." This could, I suppose, refer to Satan, but the thorn
sent from Satan seems to be the focus here. It is the thorn Paul wants

Is this a grammatically possible reading? Many thanks.

Dr. Theodore "Ted" Mann

On Sun, 15 Aug 1999 21:28:03 -0500 Carlton Winbery
<> writes:
>Dr. Theodore "Ted" Mann wrote;
>>Without in any way wishing to engage in exegetical argumentation, my
>>understanding is that "hINA ME KOLAFIZNi," in 2 Cor.12:7, can be
>>translated "that he might beat me," or some such, "KOLAFIZNi" being
>>third-person-singular-subjunctive. This being the case, isn't it
>>possible that "APOSTHi," in verse 8 can be translated as "he might
>>depart," with "TOUTOU," in the same verse, referring to the
>>being described, or being used substantively? Many thanks for any
>>(I hope I used the iota subscript properly.)
>KOLAFIZNi is the present subjunctive used with hINA for purpose. The
>does mean "to beat." I think that here it basically (as KJV) is used
>metaphorically to mean to "buffit" or even "control."
>It is possible to translate APOSTHi as "that he depart," but that
>would not
>make good sense that Paul prayed that God depart. It seems better to
>see it
>as all translations that I have here (six) as praying that the thorn
>That is the way that I use the i subscript.
>Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
>Foggleman Professor of Religion
>Louisiana College
>Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
>Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off
>B-Greek home page:
>You are currently subscribed to b-greek as:
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>To subscribe, send a message to

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:35 EDT